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AAA: Driving Costs Nearly Unchanged from Last Year

March 23, 2005

Data from a AAA study shows the average cost of driving a passenger vehicle in the United States is nearly unchanged from one year ago despite higher costs for gasoline.This year AAA estimates it will cost an average of 56.1 cents per mile or $8,410 per year to own and operate a new passenger car, compared to $56.2 cents per mile or $8,431 annually in 2004.Offsetting higher gasoline costs are reductions in the annual average cost of insurance, licensing, registration and taxes, as well as tires and maintenance. The cost of gasoline in 2005 is estimated to average 8.5 cents per mile or $1,285 per year in the AAA study, compared to 6.5 cents per mile or $975 last year.AAA's study calculates the average costs of all expenses associated with owning and operating a vehicle over five years and 75,000 miles of driving using a compact, mid-size and large vehicle. Covered expenses include vehicle depreciation, insurance, fuel, tires, license, registration and taxes, vehicle financing, routine maintenance and repair.Vehicle depreciation, insurance and routine maintenance top the list as the three most expensive costs attributed to driving an automobile. AAA estimates the average new car will depreciate $3,879 per year of ownership, compared to $3,782 in 2004. The second largest expense is full insurance coverage estimated to average $1,288 per year compared to $1,603 in 2004. Routine maintenance - including the manufacturer's recommended maintenance operations and tire expense -- is estimated to cost 5.9 cents per mile or $885, compared to 6.1 cents per mile or $915 last year.
AAA's ANNUAL DRIVING COST ESTIMATES
YEAR
COST PER YEAR
COST PER MILE
2005
$8,410
56.1 cents
2004(a)
$8,431
56.2 cents
2003
$7,754
51.7 cents
2002
$7,533
50.2 cents
2001
$7,654
51.0 cents
2000
$7,363
49.1 cents
1999
$7,050
47.0 cents
1998
$6,908
46.1 cents
1997
$6,723
44.8 cents
1996
$6,389
42.6 cents
1995
$6,185
41.2 cents
1994
$5,916
39.4 cents
(a) AAA adopted a revised methodology for calculating driving costs to more fully capture costs incurred by average drivers.
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